January 2017 Update:  Happy New Year, wine sleuths!  If you follow our humble blog, then you know the high regard which we hold Cameron Hughes wines. We told you about this beauty in July, but now we know the the Cameron Hughes Lot 457 Meritage Napa Valley 2013 was picked as #23 on the Wine Enthusiast Top 100 Wines of 2016!  Just to be clear, I am not referring to the Top 100 Value Wines, but the Top 100 Wines period!  If you hurry, you can still obtain this beauty on the www.chwine.com website, but do not hesitate or this award winning value wine ($18 on the website!) will be gone forever!  Cheers!


As temperatures creep up to the dreaded 100’s in the Great Southwest, one might think that now is not an opportune time to look for a new house Big Red.   On the contrary, my fellow wine sleuths, when others zig we like to zag, and your humble Wine Bargain Sleuth has a real treat for you in this month’s Value Wine No. 1:  the Cameron Hughes Lot 457 Meritage Napa Valley 2013.   We have reviewed and highlighted other Cameron Hughes wines previously, as the clever wine negociant’s philosophy and ours tend to align. However, the CH Lot 457 Meritage is a cut above even the typical high quality of Cameron Hughes offerings.  The Lot 457 Meritage is a lovely, inky color in your glass, resembling a classic French Right Bank Bordeaux blend both in look and in initial nose.  This cuvee is blended from Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Petit Verdot, four out of the five classic Bordeaux varietals.  The fruit is sourced primarily from the rich soil of the southern portion valley floor of Napa Valley; as always, Cameron Hughes is contractually prohibited from disclosing the specifics of their sources.  You can be certain, however, this is no flabby volume produced Merlot blend.  An initial nose of blackberry and a hint of blueberry, violets and cocoa are rendered even more complex by an earthy quality.  I would immediately pair this lovely Big Red with a choice or prime filet mignon, a pork tenderloin or even some rich cheeses and fruits.  In short, it is versatile enough to be your new house Big Red, with a remarkably low suggested retail price of $18!   The true personification of a value wine, this bad boy will stand up to competing Napa Valley wines costing 3 or 4 times that price.  The experts?   How does a 93 rating from the likes of Steve Heimoff of Wine Enthusiast strike you?  Mr. Heimoff commented that CH Lot 457 “…Shows its pedigree in the finesse of the tannins and crisp acidity. Very good now, and should hold for six years. A steal at less than twenty bucks.”  Want more confirmation?   How about a double gold from the prestigious San Francisco Chronicle wine competition?  Stock up on this one before it’s gone, sleuths!  Widely available at your wine retailer or find the wine at www.chwine.com.  Cheers!